Driver in motorcycle death cited for failure to yield

Aug. 25, 2010 at 3:25 a.m.

The driver in a traffic collision that killed a 17-year-old motorcyclist was cited for failure to yield and violation of a driver's license restriction.

Briana Nicole Church, 17, received the citations after pulling her Mitsubishi Raider in front of a motorcycle driven by Patrick Locher on Aug. 18.

The collision occurred at the intersection of Airline Road and Loop 463 about 6:15 p.m.

Victoria Police Department Officer Zac DeLaRosa, who investigated the crash, said all of the witnesses who he spoke confirmed Church came to a complete stop at the stop sign on Airline before striking Locher, while attempting to turn left onto the Loop.

"This kind of violation happens all the time," DeLaRosa said. "Unfortunately, this one ended tragically."

DeLaRosa said the violation of a driver's license restriction charge stemmed from Church having two passengers under the age of 21 in the vehicle at the time of the crash.

State law only allows for one passenger under 21 who is not a family member.

A 16-year-old girl and 18-year-old girl were in Church's truck, neither of whom were injured in the wreck.

Church was taken to DeTar Hospital Navarro, where she was treated for cuts, DeLaRosa said.

Sgt. Julian Huerta, of the department's traffic safety unit, said officers evaluate each traffic case individually and base any criminal charges on four states of mental culpability.

Those four states are defined by whether the driver intentionally, knowingly or recklessly caused a crash or were criminally negligent.

DeLaRosa said Church's actions did not fall into any of those categories, adding that Church was not intoxicated or involved in any other criminal activity at the time.

"In this case, all witnesses said the young lady came to a complete and total stop. She just didn't see the motorcycle," Huerta said. "Unfortunately and tragically for two families, she just didn't see him."

Locher's mother, Deborah Locher, said the family did not want to comment on any charges.

"It's been very hard for us," she said. "We're just not ready to face the ugly part yet."



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